Sunday, 26 October 2014
So, you're not just a little square head????
Yesterday I did something I haven't done very often in my life, and which I find exciting yet just a tiny bit daunting...
I could just leave it there and let you guess, but I won't! Here is what I did - I met up with an online friend. This time it was.... Carol Hedges! For anyone who doesn't know her, Carol is a fellow writer I first met on Twitter a couple of years ago
The meet was Carol's suggestion; she lives in Hertfordshire and me in Tyne and Wear, so it would have been unlikely ever to happen had Carol's husband not wanted to see Watford (not Arsenal...!) playing Middlesborough (I always think Carol's BH - beloved husband - is called Bernard, though he's actually not at all - you know how you get these things in your head? No? Oh, okay, it's just me, then....).
Because of traffic problems, Carol was an hour late, which meant that I'd spent the time wandering around the Toon (Newcastle); the inclement weather turned my smooth and glamorous hair into an explosion in a mattress factory, about which I only complained ten times during the afternoon. We met in a restaurant....
.... where I was delighted to discover that, like me, Carol isn't a 'foodie', will eat what is put in front of her and is more interested in vino and chatting than gastric delights. We both had a starter consisting of smoked salmon, rocket and capers, loads of wine (I admit to having the lion's share, which is fair enough as I am a Leo) (good excuse, huh?), and that was all! Anyway, we were talking at such a rate that a larger meal wouldn't have stood a chance.
The big question - were we as we'd imagined we would be? Answer - yes and no! Carol thought I would be loud and quite caustic, but I'm actually fairly mild in company, unless I've known people for years, maybe quieter than my online presence suggests. I thought Carol would be very nice and warm (which she IS!) and a sort of wise sage, but she was more like an excitable kitten!!!! More extrovert than I had imagined. Dead good fun and interesting, which is what I had expected. We had LOADS to talk about, and I think we'll definitely need a 'round two' to say all the stuff that we didn't get to say in the three and a half hours we spent together.
We had a token wander down to the quayside, because you can't visit the Toon without seeing the Tyne Bridge - and here is a picture of Carol with The Sage, Gateshead, behind her!
We also had coffee in a nice little cafe where a chap was playing guitar, which is just the sort of thing you want to chance upon.
.... and when the man we shall call Bernard came to pick Carol up, they very kindly drove me all the way home - I live about 8 miles outside Newcastle. It seemed weird to have them drop me outside my house - no, Carol, you're supposed to be on my computer screen, not outside my house!! I pointed up to the window where I sit and write and tweet.... and here I am at my desk! This photo was taken before I went to meet Carol - when my hair still looked nice! (Look, I know I'm a bit obsessive about my hair. It's a Leo thing, all right??)
It was a fine afternoon, and Carol tells me that next time Watford are playing Middlesborough she will come up again - hopefully that time we can meet up with Jon Fletcher/Gardener too!
I'm thinking of starting a Facebook page for pictures of writers meeting writers, but I don't suppose I will ever find the time... maybe when I've finished the current novel.
Cheers, my new real life friend!
ps ~ Twitter friend @WillowCWinsham just said to me that some of her best real life friends started as online ones. Quick think - it's probably because you get to know each other first in the best possible way - by sharing thoughts, witticisms, experiences, preferences etc, without being distracted by others, getting pissed, prejudices over looks, etc. So you already know that person is going to be on your wavelenghth ~ half the 'getting to know you' stuff is already done....